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Shooting a Car Scene


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#1 Miguel M

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:24 PM

I am shooting a Car scene in a couple of months and i have started pre- production on the project. Most of the movie takes place in a car going up north in a highway. The director wants this scene to take this place during night time. I have seen what the poor man process is to shot a car scene and making it look like the car is moving and there is headlights in the rear view mirror etc etc. I have no idea how to achieve what the director is asking for this scene. Can anybody help me. I want to know how would i rig the camera and what type of lighting would i need? thank you any help is welcome
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:27 PM

If you have some good grips; and depending on whether it jives with the look, you coudl try shooting Day for Night in the car. Dunno if that'd work for your situation; but would save the problem of lighting.
else you could shoot it on a green screen, light it as you like, under-expose a bit, and composite in a plate shot of night-time highway. That's another option which springs to mind.
Or all of that aside, if you don't see out of the windows at all, just have some lights moving across their faces and some motion on the car. When the stop, well right before hand, maybe some red lights fade up on their faces, on occasion a blinker comes in behind them. sometimes a light moves across them from an outside car with the appropriate vrroooommm.
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#3 jeff woods

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 01:57 PM

Google gave me this image.

One of the best examples of PMP is on "24"; almost all of their driving sequences are done this way (with projection providing background). One of the best parts of what they do is (at night) they let faces go in and out of total black, instead of having the obligatory "dashboard-as-light" effect.

-j

Edited by jeff woods, 08 April 2009 - 01:59 PM.

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#4 Karel Bata

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 11:30 AM

Exactly what I'd do, only I'd think about adding some rain. Here's a nice example of a night-time car shot:

Posted Image

:D
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#5 Kirsty Stark

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 11:56 AM

It might be possible to get away with not having moving lights as long as the car is moving, depending on the look you're going for. In a student film I shot a couple of years ago, we shot day for night in a car parked out in a driveway in full sunlight, with the back window blacked, redheads through the side windows, and black plastic tenting over the camera looking through the front windscreen (held by human c-stands). See image below.

"Driving" movement was created by a couple of crew members slowly rocking the car from behind, and for the type of film it was, I think we got away with it.

Unfortunately, the only version online is a very low quality one that my uni posted on YouTube, but the link is below:



(Nighttime car interiors are at approx. 1:07 and 2:15).

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Edited by Kirsty Stark, 09 April 2009 - 11:57 AM.

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#6 Ryan Ball

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 04:56 PM

It might be possible to get away with not having moving lights as long as the car is moving, depending on the look you're going for. In a student film I shot a couple of years ago, we shot day for night in a car parked out in a driveway in full sunlight, with the back window blacked, redheads through the side windows, and black plastic tenting over the camera looking through the front windscreen (held by human c-stands). See image below.

"Driving" movement was created by a couple of crew members slowly rocking the car from behind, and for the type of film it was, I think we got away with it.

Unfortunately, the only version online is a very low quality one that my uni posted on YouTube, but the link is below:



(Nighttime car interiors are at approx. 1:07 and 2:15).



I don't quite understand the logic of shooting day for night under a plastic tent. Sounds like a lot of extra work as opposed to just shooting at night.
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#7 Kirsty Stark

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 09:30 PM

I don't quite understand the logic of shooting day for night under a plastic tent. Sounds like a lot of extra work as opposed to just shooting at night.


We shot all of the night scenes in the film day-for-night, as we were going for a 1950s B-grade sci-fi look. The main reason for tenting the front of the car was to prevent reflections when shooting through the windscreen, but we still got extra ambient light onto the actors' faces through the back windows.
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#8 John Allen

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 11:05 PM

Exactly what I'd do, only I'd think about adding some rain. Here's a nice example of a night-time car shot:

Posted Image

:D


The only thing with that shot though, is that it just looks too unrealistic, at least for my taste(but I may have none at all). I would base my lighting on practicals. You know? When you're driving down the road, what kind of objects create light within the car. To me personally, I always think of the radio, other car lights flashing by, street lamps, and other things. So sometimes just a little glint of light in their eyes or on their face can have a great effect. As Gordon Willis likes to say, "it's not about how much light can you add, it's about how much light you can take away."

Sorry if my comment wasn't very helpful. I just felt the need to comment about the lighting in that photo.
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